Bielko-Biala, a small Polish town that once manufactured Fiat cars sent Tom Hanks one of his own.
Hanks jokingly posed by Fiat 126p cars parked in Budapest last fall and Monika Jaskolska from Bielko-Biala was inspired. She organized a public collection for the cars, which were made in the town from 1973-2000, and got a huge response.
Jaskólska shared her idea shared on Facebook, suggesting that residents raised money to buy a Fiat 126 for Hanks, and that the surplus money will go to Bielsko pediatric hospital. The response was enthusiastic
Money to buy a car was offered by Rafał Sonik, who won the Dakar Rally in the category of quads in 2015, and is also a lover of small Fiats “I found your gem, a 1981, still owned by the first owner. Even the build sheet! We even found the bill from it’s first car wash. Everything straight from the Polish People’s Republic, “- he said.
The fiat was purchased and delivered to the mechanics at the BB Oldtime Garage, who carried out a major overhaul. Then it was sent to Carlex Design, who worked on the interior: “We did tinsmith repair, painting and mechanics. We had to strip it to the last screw, diagnose problems, cut sheet metal, and then started rebuilding. The body work took two months. Also we exchanged electrics. Then reassemble the auto. We were able to save the original horn. The work lasted a total of half a year “- said Krzysztof Hankus BB Oldtime Garage.
The interior of the car took care of professionals who every day “beauty treatment” car brands from the top shelf. “The hardest part was not to get carried away enough to change the character of the vehicle, but to do something interesting. Fiat is now a little more upscale, but remained together. We installed high quality leather and minor components. There is also an element referring to Bielsko-Biala – the city logo is placed on the stick shift, “- said Tomasz Krawczyk, head of sales Carlex Design.
The car will be transported to the United States near September/October. Before this happens, however, it will take a tour of Poland to promote the city of Bielsko-Biala, and it’s Fiat manufacturing history and raise funds for the Pediatric Hospital in Bielsko-Biala by people who want to take a picture with the Fiat for Tom Hanks, or sign on the bag that the car will be cover with during transportation.
Transporting the Fiat to the United States will be Polish Airlines. “We decided to move it free of charge with our new direct connection to Los Angeles. The car is packed at the airport at Okecie airport on the Dreamliner. It’s not a problem, and not the first time we’ve moved a Fiat, a few months ago we shipped one to New York.” said a member of the board of PLL Lot Stefan Malczewski.
Along with the car will be this book, which was available for people to hand write greetings to Tom Hanks!
On The 9th of July, this special book that goes with the Fiat 126 will be currently at your disposal 7 days a week from 10:00 pm to 20:00 at the salon J.Fryderyk in Galeria Sfera, and from 9 July at Gemini Park Bielsko-Biała
you probably recall that I posted photos of Tom Hanks with several Fiat 126s just a couple months ago http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2017/04/tom-hanks-is-fun-goofball-who-seems-to.html
Update July 14th, Automobile magazine got ahold of this story, and completely copied everything I posted, but got a better photo http://www.automobilemag.com/news/tom-hanks-gifted-a-customized-car-from-poland/